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Are there other options ?

Yes. If oral medicine and physical therapy don't help your knee enough, your doctor may consider giving you an injection ("shot") with pain medicine (called anesthetic). It can stop the pain for days to weeks. Adding another medicine (called a corticosteriod) to the anesthetic may keep the pain away longer. If this doesn't help enough, your doctor may talk to you about surgery or hyaluronic acid injections.

What are hyaluronic acid injections ?

Some hyaluronic acid is already in the fluid in your joints. In people with osteoarthritis, the hyaluronic acid gets thinner. When this happens, there isn't enough hyaluronic acid to protect the joint. Injections can put more hyaluronic acid into your knee joint to help protect it.

Hyaluronic acid injections may give you more pain relief than oral medicines. These injections can help the pain stay away for 6 months to a year, sometimes longer. Unfortunately, these injections don't help everyone.

Hyaluronic acid injections are also expensive but many health insurance programs cover them. Hyaluronic acid injections may be an option for you. Your doctor will talk with you about the pros and cons of hyaluronic acid injections and whether they are right for you.

What about surgery ?

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, about 1 in 4 people with osteoarthritis of the knee will eventually need surgery. Surgical options include:

  • Arthroscopy is done with a small scope (or camera) inserted through tiny cuts a surgeon makes in your knee. With the scope, the surgeon can see how badly your knee has been damaged by osteoarthritis.

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